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WSLL @ Your Service December 2013

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

You're Invited!

The Wisconsin State Law Library will hold its annual Holiday Open House on Tuesday, December 17 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the library's Reading Room. Please join us for some light refreshments in the spirit of the season. We wish you and yours safe and merry holidays and a happy new year.

winter holiday open house December 17 from 3 to 4:30 pm

Libraries Closed for Holidays

The Wisconsin State Law Library, Milwaukee and Dane County Legal Resource Centers will be closed on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 in observance of the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day state holidays.

To submit a question to the Wisconsin State Law Library while we are closed, you may call us at 608-267-9696 and leave a voice message, or Ask a Librarian online. We will respond to questions and requests the next business day.

Federal Rule Changes Take Effect December 1

As posted on the United States Courts' Pending Rules Amendments web page: In April 2013 the Supreme Court of the United States adopted proposed amendments to several rules for appellate procedure, bankruptcy, civil procedure, criminal procedure and evidence. "The pending amendments will take effect on December 1, 2013... and they will govern in proceedings thereafter commenced and, insofar as just and practicable, all proceedings then pending."

The most significant of the amendments are the revisions to Civil Procedure Rule 45 regarding subpoena practice. For more information see this Your ABA posting, and this article from the November 2013 Michigan Bar Journal

Librarians Speak Out

Julie Tessmer, State Law Librarian, and Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services, attended the annual Wisconsin Judicial Conference November 6-8 in Wisconsin Dells, where they talked with many of the over 320 judges in attendance about the State Law Library's services to the Wisconsin judiciary. They also provided one-on-one demonstrations of online legal research tools, issued State Law Library borrower cards, and answered individual questions about legal research sources and strategies.

Heidi Yelk, Reference & Electronic Services Librarian, spoke to members of the Paralegal Association of Wisconsin during their November 11 lunchtime meeting in Madison. Heidi presented information about State Law Library services and materials of interest to paralegals and gave a web tour of materials available on and through the library's web site.

Connie Von Der Heide and Lisa Winkler, Librarian at the Dane County Legal Resource Center, attended the November 12 meeting of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin in Brookfield, at which Attorney Brian Pierson, head of the Indian Nations Law Team at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. spoke about Indian Law, focusing on tribes located in Wisconsin.

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WSLL's "New" Wisconsin Journals Collection

Wisconsin journalsLibrary visitors may have noticed some changes in WSLL's Current Periodicals & Multimedia area, near the Reference Desk. Over the past few months we reviewed each of the approximately 200 titles in the Multimedia Collection and removed some based on age or lack of use, replaced some that are now available in newer media formats, and shelved them in their respective subject areas in the general Treatises and Wisconsin Law sections.

The former Multimedia Collection shelves are now home to complete runs of the Marquette Law Review, Wisconsin Bar Bulletin, Wisconsin Law Review and Wisconsin Lawyer. Having these frequently used journals closer to the Reference Desk makes them easier and faster for customers to find, and for our Reference staff to retrieve for answering questions and filling document delivery requests. WSLL has two copies of each of these journals, so customers looking for them in the 3rd floor Periodicals section will still find them there.

Wisconsin journals

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This Just In... – Pete Boll

New Edition! Wisconsin Real Estate Clauses: Contingencies and Other Standard Provisions, 2012 Edition by Scott C. Minter.
University of Wisconsin Law School, 2012.
WSLL Call Number KFW 2526.A65 W47 2012

Published as a service to the Wisconsin real estate professional community, this complete revision of the 2000 edition addresses the significant changes in the 2011 version of the residential offer to purchase form WB-11, approved by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing (now the Department of Safety and Professional Services).

This revised volume, with new clauses and revisions to many existing ones, is divided into three segments:

  1. explanation of the professional obligations of a sales agent when drafting an offer to purchase and adding contingencies, special provisions, and disclosures
  2. a collection of clauses provided by real estate companies of all sizes
  3. forms that real estate licensees are required to use along with rules of the Department of Safety and Professional Services Real Estate Examining Board

New Edition! Wisconsin Rules of Evidence: A Courtroom Handbook, 8th edition, 2013-2014 Revision by Thomas H. Barland and Michael J. Brose.
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2013.
WSLL Call Number KFW 2940.B37 E98

This latest 8th edition completely replaces the 7th edition published in 2009, with many new citations and annotations for significant evidence-law cases decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Among the questions and issues addressed:

  • Under what circumstances might a prosecutor's closing arguments, commenting that the defendant was a "liar", not amount to plain error? See ch. 2
  • How do relevance considerations affect the admissibility of evidence otherwise admissible under a specific evidentiary rule? See chs. 7, 27
  • What types of similarities might satisfy the "identity" ground for admitting evidence of a crime committed by a third party in a prosecution against a different defendant? See Ch. 9
  • In a nonadversarial, in camera hearing, must the circuit court allow defense counsel to question the defendant? See ch. 20
  • What type of showing must a proponent of evidence make to establish the authenticity of that evidence? See ch. 29

New Titles RSS Feed
See our latest New Titles list for a list of new books and other resources.

For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.

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Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

Illuminating web tracks

As Internet users, we're all vaguely aware that we're "being watched" while we surf the web. The sites we visit and the free web email addresses we use are collecting data, and sharing that data. A new add-on from Mozilla Firefox now helps users discover whether the websites they visit are sharing data with third party websites.

As an add-on to Firefox, Lightbeam is easy to install and easy to use. Once downloaded, a "Switch to Lightbeam tab" choice will appear under the Tools menu in Firefox. While browsing the web, users can switch to Lightbeam to see a visualization of third party websites connected to the site they are using.

Tools found in the upper right side of the screen provide help and information about the add-on.

Lightbeam Tools

I installed Lightbeam shortly after it became available and, while I find it interesting, I'm not sure it's particularly useful to me. However, the creators of Lightbeam aim to educate users about web privacy, as explained in this Forbes interview with Mozilla executives.

Lightbeam users have the option of contributing the data collected to Mozilla. The data could be used for research in the area of online tracking and privacy. This type of research and information appears to be important to Internet users. According to a September 2013 Pew survey, 86% of those polled have taken steps to safeguard their privacy online.

Batkid takes the Internet by storm!

Mid-November was a busy time for crime-fighting in San Francisco. A young hero, Miles Scott (aka Batkid) helped rid the city of those persistent villains The Penguin and The Riddler. As explained in this blog from NPR, the Make-a-Wish Foundation coordinated the local efforts that made for a very successful and action-packed adventure. Even the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California got in on the fun by issuing an indictment after Batkid saved the city.

And, thanks to social media, this feel-good, real time event wasn't confined to the local region. As noted here by Mashable, there were over 400,000 tweets mentioning Batkid on the day of the event. It's easy to understand why this compelling story would take off on the Internet. However, even a sure thing benefits from planning. For an interesting, behind-the-scenes look, check out Inside the Social Media Strategy that Made Batkid go Viral.

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WSLL Recommends: Determining Economic Damages

This monthly column highlights a legal research tool, in print and/or electronic format, that is not freely available on the internet. We hope it will increase your knowledge of sources with which you might already be familiar and help to expand your legal research toolkit.

Determining Economic Damages

The recommended title this month is Determining Economic Damages. Published by James Publishing, Inc., this looseleaf volume with accompanying CD is a litigator's treasure chest. The authors are Gerald D. Martin and Marc A. Weinstein, both highly respected and experienced forensic economists.

This start-to-finish guide is the perfect source for:

  • Determining past and future income loss
  • Adjusting for personal consumption
  • Computing the value of fringe benefits
  • Converting future losses to their present values
  • Locating an expert
  • Preparing your case and expert for trial
  • Deposing and cross examining the opposing expert
Also especially helpful for the legal practitioner are the easy-to-use worksheets for estimating case values, checklists for obtaining data and testifying in court, and sample work agreements and letters.

A unique feature is the chapter on authoritative legal opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court and State Appeals Courts – all annotated by economists.

The accompanying CD, which requires no special software or installation, contains the full text of the printed volume and is keyword searchable by case name, topic or form name. The forms are conveniently formatted in Microsoft Word for easy editing.

We invite you to check this book out!

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Odds 'n' Endings – Amy Crowder

Woolly Weather

Woolly bear caterpillar Lepidoptera - Arctiidae - Pyrrharctia isabella caterpillar (woolly bear caterpillar) - Wikimedia Commons

Listening to the radio while driving into work one morning, I learned the woolly bear caterpillar is predicting a mild winter. I admit, the news did cheer me up that particularly cold day. The more rational part of me, however, questioned the capability of caterpillars to predict the weather.

Some quick web searching yielded this article from the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, "Woolly Bear Caterpillar: A Winter Weather Predictor or Not?" I won't spoil your reading, but you can probably predict the answer.

December Notables

7 – Pearl Harbor attacked on this date in 1941. Visit National Geographic's Remembering Pearl Harbor for an interactive map, list of ships and planes, and timeline.

17 – State Law Library annual Holiday Open House, 3-4:30 p.m. in the Reading Room. Please join us for some light refreshments.

21 – Winter Solstice

31 – On this date in 1956, the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys competed in the "Ice Bowl." Read: "1967 NFL Championship Game" and "A Ch-ch-chilling Recollection of the Classic 'Ice Bowl.'"

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